This Article is From Aug 25, 2018

"Not Inferior": Karnataka's Response After Nirmala Sitharaman's Rebuke

Karnataka deputy chief minister G Parameshwara in a tweet tells Nirmala Sitharaman, "we are not inferior to the centre, we are partners

"Disappointing to see you lash out at my colleague," G Parameshwara tells Nirmala Sitharaman


  • Karnataka deputy chief minister takes on Nirmala Sitharaman
  • Nirmala Sitharaman rebuking Sa Ra Mahesh "disappointing": Parameshwara
  • "We are not inferior to centre. We are partners," says Mr Parameshwara

A day after Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman openly blasted Karnataka Minister Sa Ra Mahesh at a press conference in Kodagu, the deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka G Parameshwara tweeted his disapproval saying, "It was disappointing to see you lash out at my colleague." Mr Mahesh on Friday had asked the union defence minister to wind up the press conference at the district commissioner's office, citing lack of time.

"Our ministers have stayed back in Kodagu for weeks to oversee relief operations along with the district administration. You should extend to them the same respect that they extend for the help from your end," the deputy chief minister tweeted. 

In an oblique indication that Ms Sitharaman was not the boss because she comes from the centre, Mr Parameshwara said "state governments derive their powers from our Constitution not from the centre... We are not inferior to the centre. We are partners."

Lashing out at Mr Mahesh, Ms Sitharaman yesterday said, "I am following a minute-to-minute programme, minister. If officials are important, my parivaar (family) is also important.... Central minister follows the minister in-charge here. Unbelievable."

When told the conversation was getting recorded on cameras, Ms Sitharaman, a Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka, shot back "Let it get recorded." 

The government, in a statement today, sought to clarify the sequence of events. "The Defence Minister was interacting with ex-servicemen who had been adversely affected by the floods, when the District incharge minister objected and insisted that meeting with the officials be conducted first. The Defence Miniser clarified that welfare of ex-servicemen was an essential part of the Ministry of Defence and the same was scheduled in the program. However, the district minister insisted that the central minister immediately stop the interaction and proceed to the meeting with the officials," the clarification said.

Ms Sitharaman on Friday visited many relief camps in Kodagu including one of the Seva Bharti camps run by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS. She has donated Rs 1 crore from her MLPAD (Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme) funds for rehabilitation in Kodagu.

Mr Parameshwara has also accused the centre of "step-motherly" treatment, saying the government has not released any funds for the devastating floods in Kodagu.

Karnataka on Friday sought Rs 2,000 crore interim relief from the centre for relief and rehabilitation of flood victims in Kodagu. "I appeal to you to release an interim relief of Rs 2,000 crore to enable the state government rehabilitate flood-hit victims," said Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.